"[W]e have lost our touch in espionage"

After 10 years of war in Afghanistan and 8 in Iraq, said Baer, U.S. counterterrorism efforts have absorbed some of the habits and practices of the U.S. military, which he thinks is an unsustainable way for a spy agency to do business…

“We’re very good with drones,” Baer said. “We’ve got, at the CIA, targeters that can find the enemy and get rid of them remotely. But all traditional espionage has gone away. And that does concern me because you need both. You just cannot live off drones forever.”…

“There is an entire generation of case officers who have only met with assets on a base, surrounded by security,” said one retired officer who still consults for the agency.

“It’s not the same as meeting assets on a street, where you are responsible for your own security and surveillance.”